BluEarth lines up financing for 29-MW Bull Creek Wind project in Alberta

BluEarth Renewables Inc. has closed on the non-recourse construction and term debt financing for the 29-MW Bull Creek Wind Power Project, which is the company’s first renewable power project in Alberta, Canada.

Term funding of approximately C$71 million was provided by National Bank of Canada and ATB Financial.

“We are excited to be moving forward with our first renewable power project in our home province. Bull Creek is expected to inject more than [C]$15 million into the local economy over its life; in addition, there will be more than 50,000 person-hours of direct employment during construction as well as indirect benefits to local suppliers,” said Kent Brown, BluEarth President and CEO.

BluEarth began construction of the project in June, which involves the installation of 17 wind turbines approximately 20 kilometers northeast of Provost, Alberta. The power from Bull Creek will be sold to several of Alberta’s school boards through agreements reached through the Alberta Schools Commodities Purchasing Consortium (CPC). The CPC ran a competitive process to select a renewable power developer to provide members with an option for a long-term affordable source of renewable energy.

Wind power enables participating school boards to take advantage of the long-term predictable cost of wind energy, with no future fuel-price risk. In addition, it limits their exposure to potential increases in costs associated with greenhouse gas pollution from traditional sources of energy production.

1646658 Alberta Ltd., an affiliate of BluEarth, was approved on April 30 by the Alberta Utilities Commission for a delay in the construction time for the Bull Creek Wind Project, located in the Provost area. BluEarth had filed an application with the commission requesting approval of a time extension, from the original date of Dec. 31, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2016. BluEarth stated that it intended to have the project constructed by Dec. 31, 2015. However, it submitted that the time extension request was driven by its ability to finance and the potential for unforeseen schedule issues.

1645558 Alberta Ltd. was approved April 17 by the Alberta commission for changes in number and size of the wind turbines for the Bull Creek Wind Project. The applicant had previously been given approval to construct and operate a 46-turbine, 115-MW wind power plant and the associated Bull Creek 280S substation, near Provost, Alberta. The applicant then applied for an alteration of the project, reducing the project size to reflect the generation needed to fulfill contracted power purchase agreements and to change to a distribution-level interconnection.

The applicant was approved April 17 for a reduction to 17 wind turbines and a total capability of 29.2 MW. The 17 turbines under the new version of the project are the General Electric 1.7-103 model.

Headquartered in Calgary, Canada, BluEarth is a private independent renewable power producer, focused on the acquisition, development, construction, and operation of wind, hydro, and solar projects in North America, with a primary focus in Canada.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.